Wellbeing: Breathing optimally is the gift from nature that protects and enhances your life
Joel Jelen of Liverpool-based resetbreathing.com says learning to breathe in the correct way can transform many areas of your life and greatly improve your health.
Given that breathing is a gift from nature to us it seems as though it’s one of the easiest aspects of our health to ignore.
People with asthma and other related respiratory conditions will tell you how happy they are when they can breathe easily.
The same goes for the rest of us who experience and then overcome a stressful fight or flight situation. Likewise, sleep apnoea sufferers.
For the rest of us, it’s only when I ask people at our breathing education workshops to listen to their breathing that they become slightly uncomfortable in doing so.
Similarly, when people are asked to perform any one of six core breathing techniques to relax mind and body in a breathing session, it’s sometimes only then that individuals in the group begin to think about/appreciate their breathing and acknowledge the role of the breath in how they think, feel and function.
It is a curious phenomenon, but once you try, you’ll experience what i’m describing.
In fact, it’s that curious, many people including the medical profession are unwittingly ignorant of the power of breathing optimally for good health and it is often subsequently ignored in efforts to place a diagnosis where required.
Within a working environment as well as a social one, relaxed breathing can have a massive impact on someone’s overall disposition, mood and performance.
There are many useful lifestyle tips you can adopt to breathe better, here are just a few:
- Practice nasal breathing at all times.
- Exercise, if only mildly, mouth closed.
- Eliminate sighing, sniffing, big yawning, deep breathing.
- Overthinking – eradicate negative thoughts by focussing on the breath.
- Use carbonated water when enduring a talkative day.
- Technology – focus on the breath during laptop/mobile phone use.
- Sleep – put your brain to bed two hours before yourself
- Live more in the parasympathetic and less in a heightened sense of anticipation.
- Finally, have a think about your own breathing. Is it normal? What is ‘normal’?
Light, quiet, effortless, soft, through the nose, tummy-based, rhythmic, gently paused on the exhale. This is how we breathed until the comforts of modern life came along.
There are three levels of breathing:
- So softly that the person next to you can’t hear you breathe.
- So softly so you can’t hear yourself breathe.
- So softly that you cannot feel yourself breathe.
Try to measure your breathing – via what we term the control pause which is a comfortable breath hold:
- Take a small silent breath in through your nose.
- Allow a small silent breath out through your nose.
- Hold your nose with your fingers preventing air from entering your lungs.
Time the number of seconds until you feel the first distinct desire to breathe in. If it’s less than 40 seconds, learning how to breathe optimally will make a huge difference to your health.